University based specialization in dog fitness.
E-learning, presence (lab) days and final exam, see description section.
Course language: English
Proof of profession required; course participation subject to approval by the organizer!
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Language of instruction: English
Learning model: hybrid learning (“blended learning”: a combination of e-learning and face-to-face teaching)
The University of Tennessee Certified Canine Fitness Trainer (CCFT) is the only world-wide academic program for canine fitness education. It provides students with the knowledge and skills required to become a certified Canine Fitness Trainer. The program covers a range of topics related to canine fitness and conditioning, such as canine anatomy, body mechanics, functional movement, behavior, and nutrition. The academic program is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of canine fitness and prepare them to coach, train, and better understand the fundamentals of canine fitness and conditioning.
Curriculum (for program details, please scroll down)
The academic program consists of four modules that need to be completed in order.
The course consists of CCFT I e-learning (25 hours) and CCFT II onsite lab days (3 days) followed by CCFT III case reports (3 reports) and finally the online CCFT IV exam. CCFT I needs to be finished before the onsite lab days, as it provides you the nec¬essary background needed for the labs and interactive exercises and case discussions.
CCFT II covers Canine exercise assessment, anatomy (foundation), behavior, the development of specific ca¬nine exercise programs, fitness equipment and also includes the fitness business development.
Advantages of the CCFT Academic Program
The way the course is presented, opportunities for questions and discussions continue beyond the actu¬al teaching and hands-on practice schedule. Interac¬tion in small groups between students with different abilities and specialties maximizes the learning poten¬tial. The course combines evidence-based theoretical knowledge, up-to-date research information and an in¬teractive animal lab. The importance of as well as infor¬mation on how to utilize the dog’s entire team of health providers is greatly emphasized.
• Not included are travel and accomodation expenses.
• It is essential that you have appropriate internet access to participate in the relevant e-learning modules.
The program consists of 4 modules to be completed in order: CCFT I e-learning and CCFT II onsite lab days followed by CCFT III case reports and finally the CCFT IV exam. The language of instruction is English.
CCFT I: Online Lecture Series (approximately 25 hours)
The CCFT I module will provide the student with evidence-based theoretical knowledge and up-to-date research information giving an overview of the regulatory issues involved in this field of practice; canine anatomy and physiology, behavior, nutrition and an overview of pharmacology and pharmacologic precautions. An emphasis is included on canine fitness assessment, basic concepts of canine strength and conditioning, prevention, recognition and care of athletic injuries. Canine sports and working dogs and the requirements of their various sports and activities are also covered.
After the completion of this program, participants will be able to understand the following:
• Regulatory Issues for the Canine Fitness Trainer
• Canine Anatomy/Physiology
• Overview of Canine Behavior
• Principles of Canine Nutrition
• Review of Structural and Mechanical Kinesiology
• The Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries
• Canine Strength and Conditioning
• Understanding Pharmacology Precautions
• Assessment of Physical Fitness
• An Overview of Canine Sports and Working Dogs
CCFT II: Live Lab Series (3 day hands-on Live Lab)
In CCFT II the theoretical knowledge gained in CCFT I is put into practice. While providing some refresher material in short lectures, the focus is on hands-on exercises with the dogs under expert supervision. Interaction in small groups between students with different abilities and specialties maximizes the learning potential. The lab days involve guiding students through a standardized canine fitness assessment, correct exercise form and program design with live dogs (with emphasis on life stages and all aspects of the canine health puzzle). Hands-on experience with basic exercise physiology, behavioral aspects, palpation of bony prominences, outcome measurements (e.g., Gulick circumferential measurements), gait training, strengthening exercises, balance and proprioceptive exercises and business development prepare the student for a successful and fulfilling career.
Canine Exercise Anatomy (ASSESSMENT)
• Fitness Assessments – History, Evaluation, Behavior Cues, Equipment Tests and Cardio Evaluations
• Gait Evaluations
• Fitness Palpation
Correct Canine Fitness Exercise Form (FOUNDATION)
• Correlation of Form & Function
• Fitness Palpation
• When & Why to Refer to Professionals
Canine Behavior Techniques for Exercise (BEHAVIOR)
• Positive Reinforcement Encouraging Behavioral Transition
• Client & Canine Interactions
• Proper Technique, Position & Creative Encouragement
Develop Specific Canine Exercise Programs (PROGRAM DESIGN)
• Canine Life Stages & Special Canine Populations
• Target Specific Body Areas, Muscle Groups & Injury Prevention
• Exercise Progressions & Variables
Canine Equipment Guidelines (EQUIPMENT)
• Proper Use & Safety
• Equipment Use & Choice
• Canine Specific Equipment vs. Human Equipment
Canine Fitness Business Development (BUSINESS)
• Marketing Tools & Programs
• Best Practices for Canine Fitness Programs
CCFT III: Case Studies
After the lab days, you will create 3 case studies, using the template provided. The case studies are designed to guide you take you through the entire process of acquiring a history, completing a fitness evaluation, doing a fitness assessment, designing a fitness program and filming a video (showing the dog doing an exercise). The case studies provide you with essential practice for working with a variety of dogs in the future. Extensive feedback is provided when your case studies are graded.
You have 3 months to complete and submit your case studies. Early submission is allowed. Case study grades will be returned in 6 weeks after the class due date. Cases submitted early may or may not be graded before the due date. The grading on case studies is pass/fail. You must earn a score of 80% or higher to successfully pass the case study.
CCFT IV: Exam
Prerequisite for taking the CCFT exam is the successful completion of modules CCFT I – III.
The online exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions, evaluating the understanding of the canine fundamentals as well as design and goals of the canine fitness program.
A passing score of 80% is required.
Attendees who pass all CCFT parts successfully, will receive the CCFT credential from the University of Tennessee.